Joel Ryce-Menuhin combines psychoanalysis, analytical psychology and experimental science in a major reassessment of the psychology of early childhood. The author re-examines ego-processes in relation to a self construct, a notion of growing importance in both developmental and depth psychology. He demonstrates to clinicians the need for the rigour of empirical methods and to psychologists the power of subtle conceptualization and methods involved in a dialogue with the dynamic unconscious; his convergent analysis brings them into a shared field of enquiry.
Ryce-Menuhin reviews and revises psychoanalytic and Jungian theory; he maintains that a self theory is consistent with experimental data and that it is essential to analytical psychology, to the neo-Freudian contributions of Winnicott and Kohut and to the theory of autism, which has become a focus of clinical interest in the early self. He shows that self theories are centrally related to neo-Kantian humanism, to Sartre’s philosophy and to Mischel’s cognitive model. Using Michael Frodham’s extension of Jung’s self theory, he develops a new conception of the self and its ego-processes.